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On this day: November 27

Today’s birthdays

John Alderton, Upstair, Downstairs actor, 79

Randy Brecker, jazz trumpeter, 74

Arthur Smith, comedian, 65

John McCarthy, journalist and former hostage in Lebanon, 63

Charlie Burchill, Simple Minds guitarist, 60

Samantha Bond (pictured), actress, 58

Robin Givens, actress, 55

Roberto Mancini, football manager, 55

Mike Skinner, The Streets musician, 41

Gary Lucy, actor, 38

Professor Green (aka Stephen Manderson), rapper, 36

It happened today…

1701: Anders Celsius, Swedish astronomer who created the centigrade temperature scale, was born in Uppsala.

1703: The first Eddystone Lighthouse off Plymouth was swept away in the Great Storm. More than 8,000 died across the country.

Stormy night: A painting by JMW Turner of Eddystone lighthouse, built by civil engineer John Smeaton PICTURES: REX/SWNS

1914: The first two trained policewomen to be granted official status in Britain — Miss Mary Allen and Miss E F Harburn — reported for duty in Grantham.

1919: A massive meteor landed in Lake Michigan.

1942: As German troops arrived in Toulon, the French fleet was scuttled in the harbour to prevent the warships falling into enemy hands.

1944: Between 3,500 and 4,000 tons of high explosives went off in an underground RAF storage depot beneath Staffordshire, killing 68 people and wiping out an entire farm. It remains the UK’s largest non-nuclear explosion and the crater is visible to this day.

Permanent scar: An aerial view of the devastation wrought by the RAF Fauld munitions explosion

1963: The Buchanan Committee warned of future chaos as traffic in cities multiplied.

1967: President Charles de Gaulle vetoed Britain’s entry into the Common Market.

1975: Ross McWhirter, co-editor of The Guinness Book Of Records with his twin brother Norris, was shot dead by Irish gunmen at his home in London.

1990: John Major became prime minister at 47 — the youngest PM that century.

Quote of the day

‘Your back’s going to go out, your knees are going to buckle. I am going to have to bring you back from the dead after this. I don’t understand it’ — Singer Robbie Williams’ wife Ayda Field (pictured) weighs in on his attempt to set up a boxing match with old foe Liam Gallagher

Thought for the day

‘When marrying, ask yourself this question: do you believe that you will be able to converse well with this person into your old age? Everything else in marriage is transitory’ — German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche